I used to say that at the start of a trendy little yoga class I used to attend in a hip, exposed brick studio with white ceilings. Candles, crystals, essential oil candles burning their little literal and metaphorical glow. Om.
This, of course, was BC. Before Children.
The more procreating I’ve gotten up to, the more people populate my household, the more I’ve needed the mindful meditation and the less I’ve done it.
Ironic, isn’t it, Alanis?
Just when I could really use something to settle the snow globe of my brain, I don’t have the resources – time or disposable income – to buy the peace of mind.
“They” say the years are short but you and I both know the days are long. So I’ve adopted a few mantras to cycle through my mind to prevent me from losing my shit and throwing popcorn at my little darlings during family movie night.
Mantras have definitely helped me be less of an ass and probably made me more enjoyable to be around for my husband and little ankle biters. A clear minute of repetition is enough to break even the most stubborn rumination.
4 mantras you need for motherhood
“Round is a feminine shape. Circular is strong”
Geometric mantras were first introduced to me at an antenatal yoga class and, man, I needed to hear that. I had been trying to fit myself into an angular, phallic-shaped world and pregnancy was doing me no favours in my mind. With pregnancy, the purpose of my body changed. For the better.
“Thousands of women. Thousands of years”
A lot of women are freaked out by the idea of childbirth but, honestly, we are designed to do it. I’m not going to say childbirth was fun. It wasn’t. Well, actually that’s not true. I mastered the use of nitrous oxide for my second and it felt like a night out partying. My second birth was fun.
My first birth was a 9 lb 11 ounce posterior baby with no epidural. Not fun. And my third was a 12 lb 8 ounce baby. The male obstetrician recommended I get a C-section. My female midwife and two female obstetricians pointed out that woman are designed to give birth to the babies they’ve grown. I hedged my bets to avoid surgery and I’m glad I did. I know not everyone has vaginal birth as an option but I’m firm believer we shouldn’t fear it.
“I got nothing but love for you”
Midnight mantras are particularly useful for falling back asleep after the 3rd (or sixth!?) night feed. Love and the reminder of love curbed my resentment towards the waking child and prevented my internal monologue from spiralling out of control and keeping me awake for an extra 90 useless minutes. Pairing this with a hand on heart motion will double your earthmother bonus points.
I was almost always overwhelmed when I first went back to work full time; my first daughter was 8 months old and a terrible napper. Fast forward five years and I am working the same hours with a 6-year-old, a 3-year-old and a 2-year-old.
Sometimes I’m overwhelmed, sometimes I’m not. I have grown. I am capable of more. I used to lose my sense of humour after getting puked on twice in a 24-hour period and now my PB is more like six before my mood really gets affected. So when I am overwhelmed, it pays to remind myself that life may not get easier but I’ll get better at dealing with it.
Mantras are one of easiest and most accessible tools I’ve used to get better at motherhood and to get more enjoyment out of my days. But if someone wants to watch my kids and shout me an afternoon at a spa, I bet that would work too!
Namaste, mother warriors!